Media reports last month that a police lorry had been nabbed ferrying scores of illegal aliens from the border with Ethiopia left Kenyans stunned as to the levels of corruption in the Police Service, and raised questions if there is any patriotism left among some of our serving police officers.
Meru County Deputy County Commissioner Apollo Okello’s sentiments that “the country cannot be secure if law enforcement officers are the same people breaking the rules they are supposed to uphold” rhymed with the thoughts of many, who took to social media to express their outrage.
Instances of the police breaking the very laws they are meant to enforce, episodes that are then handled in a most casual manner, leave a bad taste in the mouth. Sample this statement by Administration Police Masoud Mwinyi: “We acknowledge that once in a while we might have some incidents of officers getting excited or going out of their mandate…”
By the tone of it, Mwinyi does not appreciate the gravity of the actions of the police. His nonchalant admission of gross violations as “excitement” raises one question: how committed are the police to protecting Kenya’s integrity and security?
Glaring security loopholes must be nipped in the bud before they degenerate into something we may not be able to handle. The police, especially at the borders, need to be the vigilant, uncompromising officers they make us believe they are.
Likewise, it is time the National Police Service Commission and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority acted to instill discipline within the Service, and actually make use of the vast powers they have been given to streamline the country’s National Police Service. For starters, all those responsible for last month’s shameful incident must not be let off with a slap on the wrist. ^